Shortly after being awarded the most business-friendly city in Los Angeles County by the the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s (LAEDC), some businesses on the Boystown / LGBT Rainbow District are saying they are not feeling the love from the city of West Hollywood. On Thursday, November 4, 2021, West Hollywood Code Enforcement instructed some restaurants and bars to take down the colorful holiday lights adorning the trees at their outdoor patios and OutZones in front of their businesses. These trees have been lit throughout the year for several years.
A source tells WEHO TIMES one person complained and now businesses have until Saturday, November 13 to strip the trees of any lights because the trees are city property. There were no threats of a fine, nor were there official notices posted. Instead, a house call was made and businesses were given a verbal instruction to take down the lights per city code.
A long list of businesses were hit by Code Enforcement this past week. They include Rocco’s WeHo, Micky’s Nightclub, Revolver Video, Bar Gym Sportsbar and Grill, Beaches, and Hi Tops. The LED lights at former the Rage building are permitted.
“I’m going to call bullshit on that business-friendly award,” said a representative for one of the businesses who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s the night the lights went out in West Hollywood. It now looks dark and dreary on the Boulevard. Trees have had Christmas lights in our patios for years. Flaming Saddles had them lit at their front patio. So one person complains and now they decide to enforce it?”
It is not yet clear if a single complaint is taking down the lights, or if there are other reasons. A photo posted on Revolver Video Bar’s Facebook page shows the tree in their patio lit in red lights dated 2019.
The order to take down the lights will be costly for businesses who decorated their storefronts in preparation for a festive holiday season. There was the cost to install the lights and now the costs to rent scissor lifts and take the lights down. The business hit the hardest was Micky’s which had the most expensive remote-controlled LED color-changing lights on the Rainbow District.
“Micky’s had their trees lit all summer long,” said a manager at one of the bars. “We were under the impression that it was OK to do the same. If code enforcement had done their jobs and told them to take their lights down many months ago, we wouldn’t have spent all this money and time decorating the trees in front of our own businesses.”
As of Friday night, the Holiday lights were removed at all the businesses, except for Gym Sportsbar and Grill, which celebrated their grand re-opening earlier this month.
No word yet from Code Enforcement as of the publishing of this piece.